Hyperparathyroidism

Hyperparathyroidism Specialist
Hyperparathyroidism is a serious condition where your parathyroid gland produces too much parathyroid hormone. This is the hormone that balances bone-building calcium levels in your body. But when you have too much of it, your calcium levels surge to dangerous levels -- called hypercalcemia -- and it is critical for you to see a specialist like board-certified otolaryngologist Dr. Michel Babajanian, who serves Century City, California. With his extensive background in thyroid disorders and modern surgical treatment techniques, Dr. Babajanian will put you back on a path to good health.

Hyperparathyroidism Q & A

by Michel Babajanian, MD, FACS

How do you treat hyperparathyroidism?

Dr. Babajanian is a board-certified surgeon who has specialized training in disorders relating to the thyroid, including hyperparathyroidism. Surgery treats the majority of hyperparathyroidism cases. Dr. Babajanian performs state-of-the-art, minimally invasive parathyroidectomy utilizing advanced technology such as videoscopic surgery, intraoperative hormone measurements, and intraoperative frozen section evaluations to assure that the patient is indeed cured of the disease before the surgery ends. He also uses intraoperative laryngeal nerve monitoring to avoid vocal cord injury during the surgery. If he determines that surgery is the best option for you, he will make every effort to ensure you have minimal downtime.

In all cases, close communication and coordination of care ought to take place between your primary care physician, your endocrinologist and Dr. Babajanian to manage your care appropriately. You may have such a mild case of hyperparathyroidism that you just need to be watched carefully and periodically, with no immediate need for surgery.

What are parathyroid glands?

The parathyroid glands are generally four small, lentil-sized, glands of the endocrine system located in very close proximity (usually attached to) the thyroid gland in the lower midline part of the neck. The purpose of the parathyroid glands is to produce parathyroid hormone (PTH), which enters the blood circulation and maintains calcium and phosphorus levels in the blood.

What is hyperparathyroidism?

The most common disease associated with the parathyroid glands is an overproduction of PTH, known as hyperparathyroidism. When the parathyroid glands secrete too much PTH, the blood calcium level rises. This condition is called hypercalcemia. A benign (noncancerous) but overactive tumor originating in one of the glands, called a parathyroid adenoma, is responsible for the majority of cases.

Excessive production of PTH triggers the release and loss of excessive amounts of calcium from the bones. In addition, it results in an excessive absorption of calcium from food, causing a further and unnecessary increase in blood calcium levels.

What are the symptoms of hyperparathyroidism?

The symptoms include the formation of kidney stones, osteoporosis and unusual bone fractures, high blood pressure, generalized fatigue and weakness, depression, impaired thinking and memory loss. In addition, a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms are associated with hyperparathyroidism, such as:

  • Heartburn
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain

What causes hyperparathyroidism?

In the majority of cases, the cause of hyperparathyroidism is not known. Only in a small percentage of cases it is genetically linked. Although it is not known to be caused by any social habits or lifestyles, it is known to be twice more prevalent in women than in men. Its incidence increases with age in both men and women. The symptoms are often subtle, to the extent that the condition may go unrecognized for several years before its manifestations become clearly abnormal. However, as a highly-trained surgeon, Dr. Babajanian will do everything he can to establish the cause of the disease to give patients the most effective treatment plan to achieve successful results.

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Michel Babajanian, MD, FACS
2080 Century Park East
Suite 1700
Los Angeles, CA 90067